Guests entering a Catholic Charities breakfast earlier this week started the morning by picking up a name tag with a three-part question on it: How can I help more or give more or love more? That question is at the root of the organization’s largest-ever fundraising effort, a $75 million campaign, announced at that event.
“[A]long with others in our community who are responding to those questions, today we’re going to start finding the answers,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Bill McCarthy. “And then we’re going to take another, major step forward on the journey we share.”
Catholic Charities has already raised $45 million for the Greater Promise campaign. The funds will be used to support the organization’s nearly 100 programs, with particular focus on several significant infrastructure improvements to help children, support intellectually and developmentally disabled adults, and stimulate community revitalization in Baltimore.
- Launching an intergenerational center in West Baltimore: a new, central, state-of-the art facility that will provide a continuum of support for children, adults, families, and seniors;
- Expanding school readiness through Head Start, with related programming that fosters behavioral health and general wellness;
- Reimagining the scope, setting, and programming provided by Gallagher Services, which supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities; and
- Creating transformative community-based economic opportunity through the redevelopment of the Cherry Hill Town Center.
“True love requires action”
At the breakfast, hosted at Our Daily Bread Employment Center, Case Manager Jerry Pryor talked about his deep-seated commitment to the organization’s mission.
“The year 2002 was a dark and desolate time for me, and Catholic Charities was there for me. I was struggling with substance use and alcohol. I was homeless, I was hopeless, and I was helpless,” he said. “I will say this, God has a way of bringing things full circle because I now work for the program that I was once in.”
Catholic Charities is the largest private human services provider in Maryland. Though it offers an extensive list of essential programs, the organization recognizes how much more work remains. Ten percent of Marylanders live in poverty, including 22% of Baltimore City residents. The Greater Promise campaign focuses on addressing today’s needs, while inspiring others to help build more supportive and compassionate communities.
“Our work with Catholic Charities turns love from a feeling into a verb. True love requires action,” said Board Member Terry Becks.
McCarthy said the organization’s 100th anniversary in 2023 presented an opportunity to reflect on its contributions to the community and how it could further support Marylanders.
“As we call upon ourselves to do more, we call for the support of our community to help realize a greater promise. To be more together— more helping, more giving and more loving,” he said.
More information about the Greater Promise campaign, is available at https://agreaterpromise.org/.